On November 9th Hon Job Ndungai, MP and Speaker of the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania, launched the Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Development.
The group marks a historical turning point for sustainable development at the parliamentary level, as this is the first time there are organized efforts to champion for sustainable development and the global goals in the Tanzanian parliament.
The Parliamentary Group for Sustainable Development is made up of 25 members representing different committees in the parliament and different political parties.
“The process to establish the Parliamentary Group for Sustainable Development started early in 2016, it has been a long and hard journey, but we are grateful that the Honorable Speaker gave the group his blessings and today we are here,” said Hon Agustino Vuma, MP and Chairperson of the Group, in his welcoming remarks of the launch ceremony.
In Tanzania the parliament has 16 formal committees in the parliament structure, representing different sectors, but parliamentary groups can be established by private members of parliament with a common purpose and agenda. An example of most notable groups is the Youth Members of Parliament Group.
The Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Development is set to be at the forefront in championing sustainable development in the parliament. It conducts capacity building to other MPs, follows and monitors the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and makes sure that national plans are aligned with targets set out in the goals.
In 2019 Tanzania is set to report to the High Level Political Forum, and the launch of the group broadens the level of inclusivity at the parliamentary level, which offers an opportunity for more accountability to the government.
Young people well represented
One fun fact about the group is that it is predominantly made up of young MPs – less than 40 years old, which is relatively young in the Tanzanian sense. This is a sign of hope because they are vibrant and eager to learn and bring about positive change.
The chairperson, Vuma, whom I have known for more than three years now, is 27 years old, the Secretary of the group Salome Makamba, was my classmate in Law School at the University of Dar es saalam, and at 31, I consider myself still fairly young.
The “youthful mix” of the group also means new perspectives, and more forward outlook on the issue of sustainable development. For me as a sustainable development advocate the formation of the group was a major victory. After two years of advocacy and lobbying, we are looking forward to more engagement with the group in terms of capacity building, information sharing and overall support to the group.
The next step for the group is a capacity strengthening series that will take place from January of 2019 onwards. As organizations forming the Tanzania Sustainable Development Platform – UNA Tanzania is the co-convener of the platform – our work is to make sure that we provide the support needed for the group to be able to fulfill its mandate in the Parliament.
As Tanzania is preparing its Voluntary National Report for the High Level Political Forum in 2019, the parliament has a crucial role to play. With the group acting as champions for Sustainable Development Goals from within, we hope to open a wider dialogue and strengthen accountability for the Goals.
Reynald Maeda is the Secretary General of the United Nations Association of Tanzania and Co-Convener of the Tanzania Sustainable Development Platform
The Good News Blog collects comments from people around the world that work with Sustainable Development on what they see as recent positive developments in the field. The views expressed in the blog are the writers own, and do not necessarily represent the official standpoint of UNA Finland. #parhaatuutiset #worldsbestnews
Reynald Maeda – Secretary General UNA Tanzania – giving remarks during the launch of the Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Development.
Hon. Salome Makamba, Secretary of the group addressing members on first day of orientation.
Professor Mbilinyi presenting about Gender and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) and SDGs during the orientation day for the parliamentary group.
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